Why did actor Salman Khan’s defence lawyer wait until the fag end of the hit-and-run case against Khan to bring on record the claim that Khan’s driver was driving the vehicle, asked special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat on Wednesday. Gharat raised this doubt during his final arguments in the case, which was registered in 2002, and which is being presided over by judge DW Deshpande.
“They are now pointing out the mechanical defect. First Salman Khan claims that he was not driving the car then family driver claims that he was driving. This happens after 13 years and now it is pointed out that there is a mechanical defect, a tyre burst,” special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said before additional sessions judge D W Deshpande.Gharat said it was only when Khan’s statement was being recorded under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code that he came out with the details. “There were three persons in the car. You have never ever mentioned about the fourth person. Can this piece of evidence be accepted?” he posed a query to defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade.
Maintaining that during the incident, three people were travelling in the car, Gharat said they were singer Kamal Khan, Salman’s bodyguard Ravindra Patil and the actor himself. “If an attempt is to show that they were not the only three people travelling, but one more was there, not even a remote suggestion was made that this was defence witness Ashok Singh (driver). This defence has been developed only at the time of producing him,” he said. The final arguments by Gharat will continue in court on April 6.
Referring to Khan’s claim that Patil was sleeping in the car when the mishap occurred, the prosecutor asked, “How can that be so? He was on night duty that day, and was accompanying the actor. He cannot sleep when he is on duty.” He also said there are other witnesses, including the injured. “All their statements cannot be wrong. Their evidence has to be seen collectively,” he said.